The public agenda in Turkey has been quite busy last week.
An extensive air strike campaign is still ongoing by the Turkish Armed Forces against the US-backed PKK terrorist organization targets in northern Syria and Iraq. And a possible ground support for the operation is now on agenda in Türkiye.
Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), made an important criticism against the US and Western support for PKK.
Another important agenda topic was the National Congress of the Vatan Party, which has been one of the long-standing political parties in Türkiye.
Turkish Armed Forces prepare for a ground operation
An intense aerial campaign is going on against the US-backed PKK/PYD/YPG terrorist elements in northern parts of Syria and Iraq. Hundreds of terrorist targets have been neutralized so far, in the operation named “Claw-Sword”.
According to a statement by the Ministry of Defense, the operation carried out under the right to self-defense of Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, planning and execution of the operation was done in the most sensitive manner possible.
The defense minister and the joint chiefs of land, air and naval forces observed the operation.
Minister Akar congratulated the pilots who have successfully returned from the operation: “You have accomplished the Operation Claw-Sword. It is our right to be proud. All of our heroes, mainly our pilots and all our comrades have accomplished all tasks assigned. We are proud of you, we congratulate you from the bottom of our hearts. We hope our successes would be permanent”, he said
According to a report from NTV, the air space belonging to Syria was also opened. The Syrian airspace, under de facto control of Russia, was used for the first time after many years.
According to reports, terrorist hideouts in Kobane, Tell-Rifat and Sinjar were struck.
While the biggest reaction to this operation came from the US, it was also reported that US-PKK joint camps were also targeted.
One of the commanders of the Syrian National Army Muhammad Yusuf said: “We have finished our preparations for the Operation Claw-Sword. We are ready for an operation with all our strength both in the east and the west of Euphrates River”.
The US Department of Defense (Pentagon) stated that Türkiye’s operation had jeopardized the safety of US military personnel and years of progress in the fight against ISIS.
After the possibility of a ground operation, reports stated that the US troops and the PKK terrorists have fled the region.
President Erdogan stated the following regarding a possible ground operation;
“All the aerial operation we made with our fighters, UCAVs and howitzers, are just the beginning. We will also hunt terrorist down on the ground when the right time comes”.
Stating that Turkey has the power to clear the region in order to provide a security strip in case of a possible ground operation, Retired Lieutenant General Ismail Hakkı Pekin, former Head of Chief of General Staff Intelligence said, “It will not take a long to take back the remaining 5 regions. Turkish Army does not suffer from any problems from a military point of view. However, what is important at this point would be the diplomatic negotiations for these regions. There are already contacts with the countries such as Russia and the US, both of which have bases in the region”.
After the operation, the PKK terrorist organization has stepped up its calls for support to the United States; the terrorist leader Mazloum Abdi, called upon the American media. “Do not forget that we are the most loyal ally of the United States in Syria.” Abdi’s statements have revealed the panic atmosphere within the organization.
Bahçeli’s harsh message to the West
The government-allied Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahçeli has criticized the West in a very harsh tone in his speech, where he referred to the Sykes-Picot agreement.
The highlights of Bahçeli’s speech were as follows:
“The great and important milestone of our future would be the centenary of our Republic. Some people can insist on low level politics. Some others can pursue their own interests. But we cannot do the same. Our difference lies in the sense of belonging to the Turkish nation and our immense love for it. In our minds, we have the existence of Turkish nation and Turkish republic until the end of time. We are only working and striving for this reason and we are embracing every beautiful citizen of our nation.”
“If god permit, Türkiye will be freed from the scourge of terrorism by 2023, on the centenary of the Republic, and not a single terrorist will be able to escape from justice. We have no patience and tolerance left for them. The revenge will be served for the murdered babies, children and women, for the criminals who shed the blood of our soldiers, police officers and village guards. Our fight against terrorism is the defense of the righteous and defense of law. Our fight against terrorism is the legitimate justification for our societal order, our survival, security, peace and our sovereign interests.”
Stating that the striking upon separatist terrorism at its source, thus securing the southern borders in all aspects is one of the main agenda items and that countries that seem as allies should not disrupt this struggle by being a human shields for terrorists, Bahçeli also said “The time has come for the Sykes-Picot map to be shattered into abyss. It is time to question the geographies imposed upon us. It is an obligation and a responsibility for our national existence and national security to shut down these bottomless holes opened by the colonial understanding that drew borders with a ruler at the table. The head of this snake must be cut off with the aerial strikes and a ground sweeping operation, from Qandil all the way to Ain al-Arab”.
“The wolf has a thick neck because he sees his own thing. This thickness is trust in the friend and fear in the enemy. We are capable of cutting our umbilical cord ourselves. We cannot and will not remain silent and a bystander to any terrorist organization at home and abroad. I once again warn those who are preparing to shrouded the Turk from here: The Turkish nation is not just a rotten mentality. Don’t be fooled. Don’t miscalculate. You paid the price for this mistake in Çanakkale. You have borne the bill of this mistake in Kocatepe. Do not think that our nation is helpless by looking at your collaborators.”
Vatan Party National Congress in the focus of attention
One of the long-standing parties in Türkiye, Vatan Party has completed its 11. National Congress in the capital Ankara.
Speaking at the Congress, Vatan Party Leader Dogu Perincek addressed to the Turkish people and the nations of the world fighting against the American imperialism. “Hail to the great warriors, Türkiye’s biggest reality today is the imprisonment of all NATO-backed generals: “The place for NATO can only be the graves in Türkiye. We will soon leave NATO. We are challenging the United States, we will break all those gun barrels”. In his speech, Perincek emphasized that the system that cripples the producers will be over with the Production Revolution. Calling on the Turkish people to “trust the Vatan Party,” Perincek said, “We will elect the head of government that will govern Turkey in the coming electoral period in this Congress. Heroes are welcome to Vatan Party, and cowards are not”.
There was also a great attention to the Congress from Russian and Chinese Ambassadors.
The Chinese Ambassador to Ankara Liu Shaobin congratulated the Party’s congress by saying “On the occasion of Vatan Party’s 11. National Congress, we offer our sincere congratulations and good wishes to the Chairperson Dogu Perincek and all party members. We are well aware that the Vatan Party is an important force in Turkish politics and plays an active role in Turkey’s political society”.
Some of the other guests were the ambassador of the Russian Federation to Ankara Alexei Yerhov, Political Undersecretary Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Ankara Sayed Bashir Mousavi, Ambassador of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria to Ankara Sofiane Mimouni and Representative of the Republic of Abkhazia to Türkiye Ibrahim Avidzba.
Some political parties were represented at the Chairperson level with the participation of Valeriy Shinkarenko from the Rodina Party in Russia, Massimiliano Arif Ay from the Communist Party of Switzerland, and Jacques Cheminade French Solidarity and Progress Party. In addition, Keith Bennett the co-chair of the Friends of Socialist China Platform, was among the foreign guests who spectated the Congress.
Salama Brahim El-Bachir Member of the Politburo of the Polisario Front, the government party in Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and the Secretary General of the Saharan General Trade Unions, and Smail Debeche member of the National Committee for Solidarity with the Peoples of the Sahara in Algeria, were among the special guests to attend.
Representatives of the international bureaus of Fatah, Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine were also among the important guests of the Congress.